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China to help Kenya achieve development goals

By EDITH MUTETHYA | China Daily | Updated: 2018-06-09 03:46
Sun Baohong, the Chinese ambassador to Kenya, gives a speech on Thursday during the launch of a project to bring satellite TV to 800 villages in Kenya.
Liu Hongjie/China Daily

China is committed to helping Kenya achieve its development goals, said Sun Baohong, the Chinese ambassador to Kenya.

Sun, who spoke during a media event on Thursday, said China will support Kenya by providing a strong boost for the implementation of the country's Big Four Agenda.

The agenda is President Uhuru Kenyatta's five-year development plan to improve the living standards of Kenyans through manufacturing, housing, health and agricultural sectors.

Through the agenda, the government seeks to raise the share of the manufacturing sector from 9 to 15 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2022, expand food production and supply, provide universal health coverage for all Kenyan homes and build 500,000 affordable houses. The government plans to create 1.3 million manufacturing jobs by 2022.

"We shall work more closely to ensure that our bilateral cooperation will correspond to the implementation of the big-four agenda, as well as bring more tangible benefits for people of both countries," Sun said.

The ambassador said the bilateral relationship between Kenya and China was upgraded to a comprehensive strategic cooperation partnership last year, when Kenyatta attended the Belt and Road forum in Beijing, where he held discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"The two leaders charted the course for greater and deeper development of China-Kenya relationship," she said.

Over the past five years, China has financed nearly 100 projects in Kenya through grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans.

Li Xuhang, the counselor minister of the Chinese embassy in Kenya, gives a speech on June 2 during the 20th Wanshou Forum in Nairobi. EDITH MUTETHYA/China Daily 

Sun said the Chinese government will provide aid-funding to build and improve two institutions in Kenya. One of them will be the China-Africa Teacher's College of Vocational Education.

The institution is expected to bring better access to quality and affordable technical, vocational education and training, providing skills for employment and in long-term, improving the marketability of Kenya's manufactured goods and services.

The other project is the upgrading of the Kenya Railway Training Institute. The upgraded institution will offer degree education and vocational training tailor-made for the development of railway system.

"In the coming years, China will provide more training opportunities in the areas of manufacturing, infrastructure, agriculture and health as well as more scholarships for Kenyan students to study in China," Sun said.

Speaking at a different event, Li Xuhang, the counselor minister of the Chinese embassy in Kenya, said solid political mutual trust has laid a solid foundation for pragmatic cooperation between China and Kenya.

"On June 1, the two sides jointly celebrated the first anniversary of the inauguration of Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). As a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the SGR has become the most typical example of China's contribution to the realization of African dream," he said.

Li said Kenya and China are advancing a new pattern of trinity cooperation integrated with the SGR, Mombasa port and Mombasa special economic zone, aiming to eventually build up an economic corridor along the railway.

"The BRI and China-Kenya industrial capacity cooperation projects continue to yield new achievements, which provide strong momentum for Kenya to achieve President Uhuru Kenyatta's Big Four Agenda," he said.

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